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Cookbook Watch

April 29, 1998|LAURIE OCHOA

There have been many good dessert books before those of Carole Walter. But baking is a subject that intimidates so many people that there is plenty of room for another reassuring voice of reason to preach the message that pastry making is not to be feared. Walter's follow-up to her well-regarded first book, "Great Cakes," is "Great Pies & Tarts" (Clarkson Potter, $35). In the new book, she protests store-bought pies with overly thickened canned fruit or cornstarch-heavy fresh fruit. She argues that pie and tart making can be learned even by those with little cooking experience. The most valuable part of the book for novices, drawn from her experiences teaching countless cooking classes, is the chapter Walter calls "The Primer." It includes tips on handling dough, how to roll dough into a circle and, of course, how to get the dough into the pie pan without disaster.

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